This paper provides an overview of the critical elements of an embedded processor core in an FPGA. Building on this foundation, an overview of processor core options is presented. The design process flow and an overview of tool options for soft processor core implementation are then outlined. Each of these topics builds on the previous topic and contributes to an understanding of the critical design tradeoffs which must be made. Careful selection of the right soft core implementation architecture can provide a low-cost, highly-integrated flexible design platform.